MANILA Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief, Gen. Oscar Albayalde on Monday welcomed President Rodrigo Duterte's recent statement clarifying that there is no active general in the report on illegal drugs submitted to him by security officials.
I am grateful as well to the clarification by President Duterte himself that there are no active service police generals involved in the drug controversy, Albayalde said in his statement.
In his speech during a forum organized by a Russian think tank in Sochi, Russia on Oct. 4, Duterte said two generals are still playing with illegal drugs.
Duterte, however, clarified to the media upon his arrival from Russia that he was confused by the old rank classification in the Philippine National Police (PNP) which referred to officers as superintendents.
I must admit my ignorance actually... Lahat ng tao nalilito nyang supt-supt na yan. Superintendent pala yan, eh. Walang generals doon, I'm sure of that... Dalawang ano...colonel, I think. Nalilito kasi ako d'yan sa superintendent-superintendent na yan (Everyone is confused by that superintendent. There are no generals there, I'm sure of that. Two colonels, I think. I am confused by that superintendent), Duterte said in a news conference at the Francisco Bangoy International Airport in Davao City on Sunday (Oct. 6).
Albayalde also welcomed Duterte's remark asking for clear proof that will implicate the PNP chief to the 'ninja cops' or police officers who are into recycling of illegal drugs.
"I enjoin everyone to move on now that the President has spoken," Albayalde appealed.
"In response to the President Duterte's continued trust and confidence on my leadership of the PNP, let me express my deepest gratitude even as I profess my continued faithful service to our country and people," he added.
Albayalde assured the public that the PNP will remain relentless in its campaign against crimes, illegal drugs and rogue cops.
He also thanked Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Eduardo AAo for giving him the opportunity to be heard amid reports that he intervened in the dismissal of the 'ninja cops' in Pampanga in 2013.
"I am thankful to President Rodrigo R Duterte and DILG Secretary Eduardo M AAo for allowing me the opportunity to be heard in a proper probe body,"Albayalde said.
Probe on ninja cops
Meanwhile, Albayalde on Monday ordered a thorough investigation into the case of 13 policemen who were accused of recycling more than 160 kilos of shabu and earning more than PHP60 million from a drug bust in Pampanga in 2013.
He instructed the Directorate for Investigation and Detective Management (DIDM) to take the lead in reviewing the administrative cases of the 13 cops led by Maj. Rodney Baloyo.
"The DIDM is instructed to coordinate with the PNP-Internal Affairs Service to initiate possible summary dismissal proceedings against these errant personnel," said Albayalde.
"To complement this effort, the Directorate for Personnel and Records Management has been given specific instructions to ensure that all personnel involved will remain accounted for at the Administrative and Holding Units to ensure their availability to face investigation," he added.
Albayalde's order was the first concrete measure he initiated against the group of Baloyo since the Pampanga raid was brought up in the previous Senate hearings.
Retired general and now Baguio City Mayor Benjamin Magalong disclosed the anomaly involving Baloyo's group in November 2013.
Magalong said Baloyo and his group seized some 200 kilograms of shabu but only declared 38 kilos. They also allegedly took at least PHP10 million from the house of suspected drug lord Johnson Lee and forced the suspect to cough up at least PHP50 million for his freedom.
"No stone will be left unturned and there will be no sacred cows in this investigation," said Albayalde, who was the police provincial director of Pampanga when the drug bust took place.
Albayalde also said he is open to investigation over allegations that he benefited from the Pampanga drug raid.
"With their assurance of impartiality and due process, I am ready to face investigation to once and for all clear my name and spare the PNP from further embarrassment and unwanted public opinion created by these internal and external political machinations," Albayalde said.
Albayalde is set to retire on November 8. (PNA)
Source: Philippines News Agency